James Robinson—the co-author of the hard-hi$ing book, Why Nations Fail—knows why some countries are richer, healthier, and more prosperous than others. In his keynotes, Robinson delves into real-world examples that contrast success and failure among various na- tions. To thrive economically, a nation needs a strong government, clear incentives for invest- ment, powerful institutions and sound infra- structure.
James Robinson’s book, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, co-authored with MIT’s Daron Acemoglu, is a practical and momentous work—the culmi- nation of 15 years of groundbreaking research. Why Nations Fail opens a new path of explo- ration into examining—and then closing—the gap between rich and poor countries. It upends conventional thinking to show us that, despite what some historians claim, good climate and technology are not the main factors determin- ing a country’s success.

A political scientist and economist, James Robinson is a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Robinson’s previous book, Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, also co-authored with Acemoglu, argued that di+erent social groups prefer di+erent political institutions be- cause of the way they allocate power and re- sources. The Financial Times called it “brilliant.” James Robinson and Daron Acemoglu discuss issues from their new book Why Nations Fail on NPR’s All Things Considered.